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tv   [untitled]    May 13, 2012 10:30am-11:00am PDT

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>>. touring england was a time when robert as mentors were being challenged by a quickly growing middle-class.
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for endeavour's crew of new artists began to assert themselves, offering new definitions of the athletics of arts and beauty. over 180 objects of avant-garde design and art from the victorian england has been collected inside the legion of honor snoot exhibition, it's the cold of the ec. -- the cult of beauty. >> there was this group of artists that were not only revolutionaries in their artistic expression but also in their personal lives and their interest in democratizing art in introducing beauty into the growing middle-class. >> one of the inspirations for the victorian avant-garde was the industrial revolution. quality household goods were now being mass-produced. artists responded by either creating elaborate unique court or by embracing technology and
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trying to share a beautiful creations with as many people as possible. >> william morris was in a difficult position, because he wanted the middle-class to be able to acquire really beautifully made objects. but the piece is that he actually made, you know, took so much handcrafting that there were quite expensive. i think he would have been pleased to know that there are things like restoration hardware anne craig and bare all that tried to make available to the middle-class -- and crate and barrel that tried to make these things available to the middle class. >> over 60 lenders contributed art and craft to the exhibition. one of the partners is london's victoria and albert museum, which has been collecting the finest examples of victorian craft since queen victoria herself attended the groundbreaking ceremony. the artist of the victorian avant-garde believe that every
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object could contain an expression of beauty. the attention given when creating a towering sculpture should be the same as when creating a simple cottage gate. they embraced arts for arts own sake. whether in the curl of a flower or a stray lot of unpin hair. surprisingly, sensuality returned to public view during the victorian era. albert moore and others were inspired by ancient greek sculptures and found new uses in modern times. >> many of these paintings are large. when you get close to them, they seem to wrap you in this luscious colors. there's a great sensuality to the paintings, even though there's nothing sexual going on in the pictures. the artists just took delight in luxurious fabrics and colors and beautiful women. >> symphony in white is a life-
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size portrait of the immense stress of james wisler. it is featured prominently in the exhibition. harmony in gray and green was an of socially judged as a disagreeable presentation of a disagreeable young lady. the first public reaction of this series was so divisive that led to court proceedings. today, they hang in london's tate gallery. walking to the exhibition, you might be distracted by objects that seem to modern war appeared to be at least art deco era. forward thinking victorian artists emerged the economical ambitions of 18th-century cottage's style furniture with the asymmetrical design elements of japanese art that was introduced to london in 1862. >> so you come out with these very beautiful and sleek design worms that the artist combined
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-- a design forms. very modern. our visitors are really surprised that so many of the works at a very modern feel to them. >> they believe that no object needed to be considered worthless or low class. each thing, existing in its own place, was the best thing for its place. and what first seems to be idle showiness, shows the richness of today and yesterday. >> it is exciting to have a project you have worked on for so long coming in know, come to your own museum. and museum curators are among the luckiest professionals, because we get to share with tens of thousands of people the things that give us enjoy and the things that explain to our visitors the relationship between art and society.
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art is not just a frivolous, you know, sidebar. it is a very important expression of culture and morals. this particular moment, the artists were interested in community. >> san francisco is the exclusive american host for the cult of beauty exhibition. the legion of honor is website has more information about the artists and tips for planning your visit. learn more at the website. thank you for watching